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Hungary extends Covid-19 vaccination drive

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Budapest | Saturday, 2021 8:45:09 AM IST
The Hungarian government will roll out a vaccination campaign across the country in the next six weeks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said.

"In the next month and a half, we will have vaccination action days in all localities of the country," Orban said in his weekly interview given to public radio MR1.

"I expect the number of those taking the booster shot to skyrocket," he added.

The six-week vaccination drive comes on the heels of a special vaccination week held between November 22 and November 28 but extended to December 5, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the last two weeks, until Thursday night, one million shots had been given in the country, of which, 800,000 were booster shots and 115,000, the first jabs, according to Orban.

"We are galloping with the booster shots. We are doing really well -- 2.6 million people have taken the booster, which is 27 per cent of the population," Orban noted.

As the effectiveness of the first and second shots declines after six months, the government plans to contact everyone in person -- by email, text message or letter -- before their protection period expires and ask them to take the booster shot, Orban explained.

Shortly after Orban's radio interview, Hungary's Constitutional Court said in a ruling that it was not unconstitutional to oblige healthcare workers to get vaccinated.

The government has made vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers in several decrees earlier this year. The employment of those who refuse to get vaccinated should be terminated and they would not be entitled to dismissal time or severance pay.

On Friday, Hungary reported 10,143 Covid-19 cases in a 24-hour span, raising the national total to 1,134,869.

In the past 24 hours, 191 people have died from the disease, taking the death toll to 35,122. Currently, 7,463 patients are being treated in hospitals, including 566 on ventilators, figures from the government's coronavirus information website showed.

As of Friday, 6,145,984 people have received at least one vaccine dose and 5,858,119 had two.

--IANS int/shs

( 345 Words)

2021-12-04-02:34:13 (IANS)

 
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